It’s a great time to be passionate about social media, the Internet, online community, and the Google suite of products and services: Google’s about to reward you big-time just as Google pulls the rug out from under the feet of traditional SEO link strategies. Good for you, bad for online business. Be sure to monetize while you can. In my analogy, Google Hummingbird will require each website owner to find one or more social media passion-players and woo, hire, pay, or partner with them in order to get back on top of Google organic search. Consider the blogger you bring on board as authors of your site to be the helium balloons lifting Carl Fredricksen, Russel, and Dug up into the sky in their house. If you want your home page to rise to the top of Google Organic Search I believe you’re going to have to bring some legit Google Authors on board and publicly be associated with them.
For example, I lend my Google Biznology blog, Socialmedia.biz, Business2Community, AdAge, Huffington Post, the Rosetta Stone blog, and my blog, Because the Medium is the Message. Also, to my company site, Gerris digital, and to a former client’s site, too, DCBIA.score, whatever that may be, to the
(What is Google Authorship? Long answer, Google demands your papers with the Hummingbird algorithm update, short answer, How to Register Your Authorship With Google.)
SEO’s gone from just web pages having Google Juice that could be shared via a well-placed link to people having Google Juice that they can then associate with sites, blogs, and publications. And, while I know that authorship and social have been a long time coming, the real move from a link economy to an influence economy is recent with the advent of Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird.
Hummingbird’s a game-changer
Hummingbird is important. It’s turning how the top spots on Google are won. Instead of spending all your time guest blogging on other people’s sites in a desperate attempt at accumulating inbound links, Hummingbird presumably demands you attract influential and popular bloggers to you. Open your checkbook, this could get expensive — though it might be worth every penny.
You’re going to start needing to hire people with Google Authorship clout and authority so that you can hitch your wagon to their comprehensive devotion to native and passionate participation online. So, you can’t just hire a community manager to post ghost tweets and Facebook posts as you, you’ll have to hire someone who allows you to leverage their decade of time, effort, energy, and enthusiastic participation online for the opportunity to use their past efforts as the credentials that Google is seeking.
The way Authorship works on Google is that each author must associate himself with all his online publications, platforms, blogs, sites, and social networking services as well as all the publications for which he writes. In some cases these are verifies, other times, they require having access to an email inbox with the site’s associated domain name or embedding a bit of code into a post to prove you have access to publishing rights.
Google’s chosen to reward both the authors and consumers
According to an article by Alex Garrido, Google Prefers Verified Authors (Google Author Rank Exists), Google’s created their very own Klout score for each online content-producer. This Author Rank reflects your influence, popularity, and even your focus and expertise.
According to Garrido, popularity and influence come from the “click through rate of listings with verified authorship, how much people share the content from a particular author, how many backlinks an author generates, how many connections an author has in Google Plus and Youtube, and the quality of comments with Google’s verified commenting services partners such as Disqus and OpenID.” Yes, even your commenting and community-participation habits could influence your Google clout.
Also, according to Garrido, your focus and expertise are probably deduced through videos you’ve been watching on YouTube, “including likes and comments, Google Discussions, Google Plus Comments, Google Plus Votes, photos uploaded to Picassa, searches from your mobile device (anything inside Android), and even content from your Google Drive.”
This method of allowing you to develop yourself not merely as a blog-writer or a content producer is brilliant. There are people who own YouTube and yet have never written a word — or even uploaded a video. There are people who are super-influential online yet never publish onto AdAge or Huffington but comment and share and engage and participate every day.
Is there an Google Authorship bump for Android-users?
Since Google evidently gives you the most passive points for participating in the Google product biosphere, one may very well assume that running and using Android devices while logged into your Author-associated Google Apps accounts would benefit your general participation score. So from now on, you’re not wasting your time on YouTube, just as long as you’re either on your Android device or you’re logged in onto YouTube via iPhone, iPad, or the web. No points for doing any of these things anonymously or when you’re not logged in. So, is there a benefit? Yes, because the more use use Android, the more you use Google, the more you share with Google, the more Google know who you are, really, and the more Google will reward you as a result.
Guest blogging had become transactional — only about the links
In the last few years, people have gone guest-blog wild, reaching out, often spamming, blogs in order to secure guest-author spots on other blogs in order to post content that is both topical enough to fit in with the host blog and SEO-optimized enough that plenty of keyword-rich phrases would link back to their company or their own blog. This resource, time, and money-expensive strategy might not work very well any more.
Dropping guest blog posts on other sites optimized for backlinks instead of appeal and popularity won’t work very well at all anymore — unless you can increase your own personal authorship through associating yourself with every blog on which you’ve guest-blogged.
While going around the Internet guest blogging on other people’s blogs may very well help bolster your own personal Google Authorship, the new Hummingbird update to Google’s search algorithm has jumped on the Klout bandwagon in their pursuit of top influencers — authors — over inbound text links.
Mutual-Google-Authorship-verification might be the next blog-rolling
See if your hosts will allow you to verify your authorship on their blogs — maybe you can trade verification. It’s generally not hard to add someone to your domain as a forwarded email address.
I really don’t even know if Google checks to see if you’ve actually created content there; rather, they’re probably just looking for the bare verification. Don’t quote me, I am spit-balling here, but maybe I just found an awesome loophole. Let me know how it works.
Authorship is the new orange is the new black
Arguably, in the past, Google has never prioritized web sites but rather high Page Rank (PR) pages; however, there are clues that authors, rather than inbound links, are going to be what move websites to the top spots on Google.
I am sure that everything you’ve done up until now still works, just with less oomph. All the time you’ve spent running around the Interwebs trying to hack the system might have been better spent actually participating online — which is Google’s lesson here. It doesn’t matter because you don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater here.
All the hard work you have done still has some juice. The only thing is, the ecosystem has become larger. Now, all the SEO tricks you have done in the past are only half of what you need to do.
It’s essential now that you work on the other half, the Google Authorship half. And, if you play your cards right, maybe someone at Google will tap you on the shoulder and grant you the prestigious (and I think more valuable in the new world of Hummingbird) “Google Verified” check on your Google+ profile — like I have.
- Google demands your papers with the Hummingbird algorithm update (biznology.com)
- Google Hummingbird is eHarmony for Search (biznology.com)
About Chris Abraham
A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and advisor to the industries' leading firms. He specializes in Web 2.0 technologies, including content syndication; organize search engine optimization (SEO), online reputation management (ORM), content marketing, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media.